5 tips to power up your marketing for 2021 and drive business growth.
Guest Blogger: Sam Aylett, Director of Marketing – Thycotic
In an increasingly crowded and connected marketplace, business customers looking for technology to solve a business challenge have a plethora of information at their fingertips. Those businesses, particularly when considering large or complex purchases like enterprise software, are typically 57% of the way through their purchase process before they even engage with a salesperson1.
This doesn’t mean that the sales function is not important. It just means that using marketing to get the right message to the right people in the right businesses IS important – and if you don’t, that business may never get to your salespeople or by the time your salespeople get to them, it may be too late.
These market dynamics have forced resellers, distributors and vendors to reconsider and elevate marketing to mission-critical status. And the best marketing results come from a strong three-way partnership – with each party playing their role.
There are some fundamentals which, if you get right, set you up for marketing success.
- Do some prep work
Take a step back and do some analysis. This will help you identify what you’ve got sorted and what’s missing, and will serve you well when you start to work with your distributor and vendor on planning 2021 marketing.
- Segment your target customers.
- Identify past sales by customer segment and what marketing delivered results.
- Determine where your revenue is coming from next year.
- Get clear on your message – what challenges / pain-points do your customers have? how does your service and the product alleviate them? of what value is that to the customer? Write your story – literally, write it down.
- Set a plan with clear and measurable goals and agree on commitments
In every partnership, each party has their own vested interests. Good partnerships are transparent about those interests and are built upon the understanding (and reality) that the success of one partner contributes to the success of the others.
Create, in collaboration with your distributor and vendor, a clear written marketing plan—not War and Peace, just a one-page document with:
- a set of objectives,
- a clear definition of the target market (what type or organisation and the challenges they face that you can solve),
- the marketing strategies to achieve the objectives (and in which quarter or month),
- who’s going to do what – the resources (people and dollars) all parties have committed, and
- a realistic view of the metrics used to determine success
- Leverage the vendor
Any vendor worth their salt will, like us, have a marketplace of ready-to-execute marketing campaigns. Ours includes email and digital campaigns, live and on-demand webinars, whitepapers/reports, customer tools, events, free trials and collateral.
Educate yourself on what’s available to you – it’s a two-way street, so don’t wait to be told.
Then work with your vendor to identify what they have that suits your requirements and map that into your plan. Discuss what activities may be eligible for marketing development funding and under what conditions, and then set some mutually agreed targets and apply for the funding.
Most importantly when it comes to leveraging your vendor’s marketing support – execute the damn plan – otherwise it’s all for nought.
- Get your own house in order
There are a host of things you do to market your own business that are in your control and your control only – so you need to get your own house in order as well.
Make a list of them and systematically work through them to make sure they are fit for purpose. A good first stop, given the 57% I mentioned earlier, is your digital presence.
Some things to consider:
- Is your website more than 3 years old (in which case its most likely getting obsolete)?
- Do your website and social media profiles accurately reflect your message (remember the one you wrote down in tip 2)?
- Do you have a plan to regularly post content on your site and profile? Is it valuable to your target market?
- Are you using search engine optimisation and search engine marketing to get your message in front of the right people?
- Communicate and collaborate
Both vendors and resellers face challenges when it comes to generating leads and sales. For vendors, a lack of visibility into what channel partners can and are doing to market themselves makes it difficult to create appropriate campaigns. On the flip side, resellers are busy managing their own business and have limited resources or no internal expertise to build and execute successful marketing campaigns.
This makes it even more important to have regularly scheduled communication, transparent sharing of activities and results, and constructive collaboration so all parties can work together for mutual success. Establish what works best for your partnership, but I would suggest monthly check-ins.
So, take a moment to reflect on these fundamentals, and then get in touch with your distributor and vendor and start planning your 2021 marketing.
Thycotic Vendor Resources: Thycotic offers a comprehensive partner portal including a well organised marketing resources hub. The Thycotic Marketing Hub features an array of resources including Email Templates, Campaigns in a box, Webinars on Demand and more. Visit the Marketing Hub Here
CEB 2017 Digital B2B Buyer Survey